Looking back on the In-Sight Weekend Part 2 – Saturday

Posted on 11.04.2017

Looking back on the In-Sight Weekend Part 2 – Saturday

Workshop participants at the In-Sight Weekend

The In-Sight Weekend – the product of a partnership between Attitude is Everything, Constant Flux and DIY Space for London (DSFL) – was a resounding success. Funded by PRS for Music Foundation and Arts Council England, the events over 31st March and 1st April explored and celebrated access and disability in DIY live music.

Our previous article provided an overview of the amazing conversations that took place at Friday’s evening of talks. In this article, we share how those conversations continued on the second day…

Workshops

The second day of the In-Sight Weekend kicked off with a workshop hosted by Attitude is Everything.

The purpose of this event was to invite participants to explore access and disability in DIY music, and contribute ideas for an upcoming guide Attitude is Everything are planning, which will help bands and promoters make gigs and tours more accessible and reach more Deaf and disabled audiences.

The afternoon began with Jacob Adams, Research and Campaigns Manager at Attitude is Everything welcoming people and introducing the day. Suzanne Bull MBE, CEO of Attitude is Everything then gave attendees a potted history of Attitude is Everything, focussed on the evolution of our Club Attitude gigs, from DIY shows in tiny venues to larger gigs in established London venues such as Village Underground and Islington Assembly Halls. Richard Phoenix of Constant Flux then shared the history of his work, followed by Craig, a volunteer from DSFL, explaining how the venue works to be as accessible as possible via a dedicated volunteer Access Group.

Attendees then split into three groups, and moved around three sessions, which focussed on three topics:

1.       ​Venue​s

Run by the DSFL Access Group, this session provided a deeper insight into what can be achieved in a venue context, and invited participants to contribute their thoughts to ongoing developments in the venue.

2.       Bands + Promoters

Run by Attitude is Everything’s Festival Project Manager Paul Hawkins, this session explored the barriers​ that might prevent audiences and artists from participating in live music events, and the ways these barriers can be broken down.

3.       Disability Awareness

Run by Attitude is Everything’s Research and Campaigns Manager Jacob Adams, this session explored some of the context behind our mission to make live music more accessible and delved into the demographics behind the phrase ‘Deaf and disabled people'. We invited participants to try out and provide feedback on a new exercise designed to offer a window into the ways in which chronic illness and invisible impairment can interact with accessing live music.

Following this, attendees gathered for a final session run by the designer of the planned guide, which enabled participants to contribute their creative ideas for the content and look of the final document that we plan to publish later in the year.

A selection of the guide covers created by workshop participants, with titles such as 'Access', 'It's not rocket science...', 'Music For All', and 'No punk about us without us'.

A selection of the guide covers designed by workshop participants

This event was the first of its kind that we have run. The day was a great success, with people travelling from as far away as Newcastle to participate. Discussions were fascinating and enlightening, with one of the key themes that came up in the disability awareness sessions being people’s experience of mental health and chronic illness – topics that we intend to explore further. We were left with our belief in the massive potential for people involved in grassroots and DIY live music to champion the cause for access and inclusion reconfirmed. The DIY Space for London Access Group clearly demonstrates what is possible with the right attitude and commitment to opening up a venue to everyone.

If you are a musician, promoter or audience member and would like to find out more about the guide we’re planning and how you could contribute, please contact Jacob.

Gig

The weekend’s finale was a gig, showcasing a range of DIY access solutions and 4 amazing bands. The gig also celebrated DIY Space for London being awarded Bronze via our Charter of Best Practice.

DIY Space for London volunteers receiving their Bronze charter certificate.

DIY Space for London volunteers recieving their Bronze charter certificate.

The access facilities and polices included:

  • Assistant dogs welcome
  • Personal assistant tickets available
  • Chill-out room to escape crowds and noise
  • Dedicated viewing area with seating
  • Ramped stage (using the DIY viewing platform the venue has made)
  • DIY captioning using PowerPoint and a TV by the stage
  • Lowered bar
  • Hearing loop

The amazing line-up featured:

Final Words

Our brains are still fizzing with all of the ideas, creativity and perspectives shared over the In-Sight Weekend. These events in many ways enabled us to return to the core roots of Attitude is Everything, that is, demonstrating how accessibility has creative potential, and is achievable at any level of live music if the right attitude is there. It was truly fantastic to be able to showcase so many talented disabled artists, and we can’t wait to work with all of them again. We have also been contacted by several people around the country keen to see similar events where they live.

The next step for this project is the writing, designing and publishing of our new guide for grassroots and DIY bands and promoters. We know that with their support, and by providing them with the tools and knowledge to affect change, they can join our mission to make live music accessible for all.